Liverpool, City, Real all return to Champions League action on Tuesday

Lokomotiv Moscow vs Bayern Munich
RZD Arena, Moscow
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @8:50pm
Ref: Istvan Kovacs (ROM)

Bayern Munich travel to Russian to take on Lokomotiv Moscow after a thumping 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena on matchday 1.

The Bavarians have now made it 12 Champions League wins on the bounce.

Bayern backed up their midweek victory with another dominant 5-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Lokomotiv Moscow started their Champions League campaign away at Salzburg and returned with a 2-2 draw in a match they were posted are huge underdogs.

Anyway, they had a disappointing weekend after the 1-2 defeat at home to foot of the table team Rotor Volgograd.

The only head-to-head meeting between Lokomotiv Moscow and Bayern Munich happened in the 1995/96 season of the UEFA Cup. The railwaymen bagged a surprise 1-0 win at Munich only to inspire Bayern to crash the lead with a thumping 5-0 win in the return leg.

Overall, the Loco met German clubs on 10 occasions across various UEFA tournaments, but managed to win only twice and lost the remaining 8. Strange enough, they lost all 5 home games during the period.

Bayern on the other hand have a strong record against Russian teams. A total of 11 wins and 6 draws were garnered from 20 previous meetings while losing in 3. In Russian soil, their record is 5 wins, 3 draws & 2 losses from 10 games.

Shakhtar Donestk vs Inter Milan
NSK Olimpijy’kyj, Kiev
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @8:50pm
Ref: Georgi Gabakov (BUL)

Inter Milan travel to Shakhtar Donetsk for the matchday 2 fixture of the UEFA Champions League 2020/21 season and will look for their first win of the campaign.

The Nerazzurri had a wobbly start to the season and they were exposed in the group opener at their own backyard by Monchengladbach only to be saved by a late goal from Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian scored both goals in the 2-2 stalemate and he is the most consistent player in Antonio Conte’s squad until now.
Win-less in three after the draw, Inter went on to win 2-0 at Genoa on the weekend and will be keen to take the momentum to Ukraine.

Shakhtar Donetsk on the other hand, bagged a historic win away at Real Madrid even though they had most of their key players missing through injuries and illness.

While the result is excellent as it can be and the credit goes to those young players and could have scored more goals in the first half, the match will be remembered for complacency from Zinedine Zidane who went into the game without his key players like Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior and playing Ferland Mendy at the right back.

The teams went h2h in last season’s Europa League semi final and Inter bagged an easy 5-0 win.

Inter Milan are now unbeaten in the 3 head-to-head meetings with Shakhtar having won and drawn when they came across in the qualifying round of the 2005/06 season of the UEFA Champions League.

Overall, Shakhtar met Italian teams on 25 occasions and holds a moderate record of 7 wins, 2 draws and 16 losses. And they have a poor scoring record of 0.8 goals per game.

Inter Milan are unbeaten against clubs from Ukraine; 6 wins and 3 draws out of which 3 wins and 1 draw came in their away trips.

Atletico Madrid vs Salzbrg
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @11pm
Ref: Ovidiu Hategan (HUN)

Atletico Madrid welcome Salzburg on matchday 2 of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and will be looking for their first win of the campaign after the humiliating 4-0 defeat at Munich.

Salzburg on the other hand started their campaign as strong favourites against Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow and will be disappointed to have earned just a point in the 2-2 stalemate. The Austrians were undoubtedly the better side and managed to keep the Russians quiet but undone by two setpience goals.

Diego Simeone’s men are unbeaten at home in the Champions League since 2017.

Salzburg made their return to Europe’s elite competition last season, first time since 1994 and finished third in the group behind Liverpool and Napoli. And a small reminder, this is the team that introduced Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino to the world stage, the former now a key player at Dortmund and the later warming the bench at Anfield.

Tuesday’s Champions League clash will be the first ever competitive meeting between Atletico Madrid and Red Bull Salzburg.

Anyhow, Atletico Madrid are unbeaten against Austrian clubs in UEFA tournaments with 5 wins and 1 draws.
Meantime, Salzburg have a humble record against Spanish La Liga clubs – 4 wins, 2 draws and 8 losses from 14 games. And at home, they won 3 and lost 3.

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Real Madrid
Borussia Park, Monchengladbach
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @11pm
Ref: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)

Real Madrid will look to bag their first win of the UEFA Champions 2020/21 season after the surprise 2-3 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.

However, the team from Madrid bounced back quickly with the El Clasico win on Saturday and this definitely showed us that things look good on field when Zidane put the right players and right formation on the field.

This is something missing from the Frenchman throughout his managerial career at Real Madrid, but he tend to make the successful tweaks when it matters the most.

It has to be highlighted that Real started last year’s Champions League with a 0-3 defeat to PSG and then drew Brugge 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu before bagging 3 wins and a draw from the next 4 to take them through to the knockouts.

Borussia Monchengladbach on the other hand were excellent against Inter Milan, but a late goal denied them three points in a match that ended 2-2.

As opposed to their Tuesday’s opponent, the start they had at the season is solid and they come to this game on the back of a 5 match unbeaten run (2W, 3D) across all competitions.

But can they pile further misery on Real Madrid?

The teams are meeting for the first time in 25 years after playing 4 times between 1976 and 85. The overall record is evenly poised on 1 win & 1 draw each.

We saw both teams scoring on 3 of them and over 3.5 goals in three as well.

Gladbach have a poor record against Spanish teams and managed only 4 wins and 4 draws from 16, while losing in 8.

The home record is 3 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses from 8.

Real Madrid have come across German teams on 70 occasions and their record is 34 wins, 13 draws and 23 losses.

Their record in German soil is poor having won just 7 of the 33 duels, drew 7 and lost 19.

However, they are unbeaten in the latest four trips to Germany, defeated Bayern twice, drew and beat Dortmund once.

Porto vs Olympiakos
Estadio Do Gragao, Porto
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @11pm
Ref: Daniel Siebert (GER)

Manchester City are the outright favorites to secure the top-most spot in Group C, and this puts the other three teams in a delicate spot. They will have to make the games against each other count at any cost, and will have to hope not to lose by a huge margin against the Citizens.

The Dragons are on the back-foot this early itself, as they lost their opening game. One more loss, and the team will be under unimaginable pressure.

They need the three points at any cost this Tuesday, and it helps that they are taking on the Red-Whites, who are from Greece.

It’s no secret that the Portuguese Primeira Liga are one of the best leagues in Europe, while their Greek counterparts are just mediocre even on their best days.

On top of that, Sergio Conceicao’s men also have a phenomenal h2h record at this stadium over the years.

The Dragons have scored two or more goals in three of the former five clashes.

The latest encounter had ended in a 1-0 win for the Greeks, at their home. At this stadium, the hosts have a 100% unbeaten record. In fact, barring a single draw, they have a 100% winning record here. The home team has also scored two or more goals in every single clash at this ground.

Marseille vs Man City
Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @11pm
Ref: Tobias Stieler (GER)

Pep Guardiola has a chip on his shoulder after his failures in the biggest stage in Europe in back-to-back-to-back years. Despite all his success and domination in domestic competitions, the Spanish gaffer does not have much to show in the UCL, other than his glory days with Barcelona.

Moreover, after blowing money out in one of the biggest transfer budgets in world football, he needs this trophy at any cost. By all means, we can count on him to try to deliver one of his best ever European campaigns in 2020-21.

And it might or might not end up in triumph at the very end, but one thing is for sure. He is not going down against a team from France. Not again.

The Olympians are from the French Ligue 1, and against a team from the best league in Europe, they stand no chance at all. And do note that the Citizens have been the best team in the EPL along with Liverpool, for the past few years.

Moreover, recent form too suggests that Andre Villas-Boas’s men are in no shape to take on a championship contender.

Dimitri Payet’s suspension in the Ligue 1 means that the enigmatic forward is sure to play a part in Marseille’s Champions League campaign. The French outfit does not have any notable absences going into this game.

Pep Guardiola will also have to do without Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy against Olympique Marseille.

Sergio Aguero was taken off after the first half against West Ham and is likely to feature in this game. Manchester City will also be able to field star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne in the Champions League this week.

This is the first match-up between the two teams.

Atalanta vs Ajax
GEWISS Stadium, Bergamo
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @11pm
Ref: Damir Skomina (SLO)

These two are probably the best offensively-talented teams in the whole world at the moment. Bringing new meaning to the statement – ‘Attack is the best defense’ – the squads have been absolutely balling it out for the past few years.

The Lancers are the defending champions of the Dutch Eredivisie, and with their new manager and some best young players in the world – they have completely taken PSV Eindhoven out of the duopoly in Netherlands.

Meanwhile, La Dea have been torching the Serie A for the last year, and they seem to have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

They nearly put an end to the unstoppable run of Juve in Italy last year, and by the looks of things, they have elevated themselves to be a constant title contender in the Italian top flight.

The two squads are included in the same group as that of Liverpool in the UCL, and dishearteningly only two of these three will make it to the knockouts.

And of the three, the Reds are heads and shoulders above the other two. In short, the race for the second spot in Group D will be between these two teams.

For the reason, this is a supremely important encounter – especially with h2h results being the prime tie-breaking criterion.

This is the first face-to-face encounter between the two teams.

Liverpool vs Midtjylland
Anfield Stadium, Liverpool
Tuesday, 27-10-2020 @11pm
Ref: Powel Rackzkowski (POL)

The Reds have been put into one of the toughest groups in the competition, and they need to tread carefully if they are to avoid an upset early in their campaign.

Both Ajax and Atalanta have been enthralling viewers with their attractive brand of attacking football, and either has delivered impressive deep runs in recent editions of this competition.

In short, Jurgen Klopp’s men could not drop points this early in the tournament, and if such a thing happens, they would be inviting unwanted pressure, and will be playing catch-up for the rest of the Group Stage fixtures.

They are pitted against the weakest team in the group this Tuesday, and they easily are the outright favorites. However, they cannot make the mistake of underestimating this rival too much.

Their game against Aston Villa is a rude reminder for taking opponents lightly.

This game week, the Reds need to win at any cost, and considering the difference in stature between the two teams – it’s an expected prediction; Liverpool to post the three points on the board.

Virgil van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all certainties to miss out on this game. The Reds will continue to monitor the progress of Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip, who were both said to be close to returning to full training. Jurgen Klopp had said on Friday that with both Thiago and Matip, their chances would be assessed on a day-to-day basis, but the Reds could err on the side of caution with both players.

For Midtjylland, Defenders Kristian Dirks Riis and right-back Oliver Olsen both are long-term absentees, with injuries.
This is the very first encounter between the two teams.

The Champions League games on

Wednesday, 28-10-2020

-Krasnodar vs Chelsea FC @8:55pm
-Istanbul BB vs PSG @8:55pm
-Man United vs RB Leipzig @8:55pm
-Sevilla vs Rennes @8:55pm
-Borussia Dortmund vs Zenit St. Petersburg @8:55pm
-Club Brugge vs Lazio @8:55pm
-Juventus vs Barelona @8:55pm
-Ferencvaros vs Dynamo Kiev @8:55pm

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